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Welcome - Issue 25

Welcome to the EconomicDevelopment.org newsletter! Before we wrap up 2015, we wanted to share five of the most popular posts published so far this year. 

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Have a safe and restful holiday season!

 - The EconomicDevelopment.org Team

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5. The Higher ED Blog: Anatomy of business incubation in Canada

Road marked with start

By Tara Vinodrai

How do we help entrepreneurs start new businesses? And how do we improve the chances that these start-up firms will survive? Business incubation has been identified as one of the critical means of assisting entrepreneurs in the venture creation process and holds the promise of being an important economic development tool for job and firm creation, fostering an entrepreneurial culture, accelerating local industry growth, and supporting broader business development. As such, business incubation and acceleration have become hot topics in economic development. This has not gone unnoticed by students in the University of Waterloo’s Local Economic Development program. Indeed, several recent posts here on Higher ED have explored questions like ‘Do incubators benefit their host communities?’ and ‘What are the trends in food-related incubators?’. Adding to this discussion, a major research paper The Business Incubator Landscape: A Canadian Perspective, by recent graduate Nancy Huether, surveyed the current state of business incubation programs and initiatives across Canada.

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4. The Higher ED Blog: What’s new in economic development research (summer 2015 edition)

Woman typing at a keyboard

By Michelle Madden

The title of this blog might sound very familiar, which makes perfect sense because Higher ED published a blog with basically the same title back in March. That was our first research roundup, and it was so well received that we decided to make it part of the regular rotation. I hope this second contribution is as interesting and helpful.

A note on the source material: for that first blog, I focused solely on Economic Development Quarterly, which I argued was the most relevant academic journal to North American economic development practitioners.  This time, I expanded my search to include Regional Studies and the Journal of Rural Studies, which are also reputable sources producing research relevant to economic developers.

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3. Creating place value: Attracting and retaining businesses and talent

Public park full of people

By Alison Berry, Community Builders

In a post-recession economy that is increasingly competitive on a global scale, communities are grappling with the issue of how to attract and retain businesses and talent. When entrepreneurs are getting established, what influences their decisions about where to locate? What keeps those businesses, and what attracts the skilled employees that help businesses grow?

These questions are at the heart of Place Value, a recent study from Community Builders, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping local leaders create more livable communities. The study draws on survey results from nearly 1,000 business owners and community members in four Rocky Mountain states: Colorado, Idaho, Montana and Wyoming.

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2. The Higher ED Blog: Incubators generate results but still might not be worth the investment

The Brunswick Business Incubator building

By Catherine Oosterbaan

How do you attract and retain the startup or early stage business that is poised for rapid growth, innovation, and job creation? This is a key question on the minds of economic developers across the country. One potential solution that appears to be emerging as a popular tool is the development of business incubators and accelerators.

Business incubators and accelerators typically provide a central location where startups can access  a suite of services designed to support the commercialization of products, processes or services, and facilitate fundraising.

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1. How to attract people to your city (and it’s not just about jobs)

Group of people holding hands

By Neil O'Farrell

Who came first, the employer or the employee?

Ask most people on the street and they would probably give a straight-forward answer: logically the employer came first, and the employee followed. That would make sense, after all, because much of what we hear from the realm of economic development revolves around job creation. As with the well-publicized dogfight to host Tesla’s Gigafactory, attracting large job creators appears to be the new winning ticket for many municipalities. People follow jobs. Right?

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